Does shaving pubic hair cause yeast infections? Maybe you have heard it or maybe you have not, but many people have stopped shaving or waxing their pubic hair because of reports that shaving your pubic hair increases the risk of yeast infections or sexually transmitted infections.
If you are among those who stopped shaving your pubic hair for this reason (that shaving pubic hair cause yeast infections), then you might want to reconsider.
A new study from The Ohio State University, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found no connection between lack of pubic hair and Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
The study of more than 200 college-aged women concluded that groomers are not at higher risk for contracting STIs. Hence, the question does shaving pubic hair cause yeast infections? Is NO
Does A Pubic Hair Actually Have A Purpose?
Yes, pubic hair does have a purpose. Above all else, it lessens friction during sex and prevents the transmission of bacteria and other pathogens.
There are probably other reasons why we have pubic hair, too.
Everyone has pubic hair, but we all make different decisions as to what we do with it. Some people prefer to let it grow, while others trim it, shave it, or wax it.
Actually, what you do with yours is up to you.
What Does Pubic Hair Do?
When it comes to pubic hair, humans are an anomaly among mammals. However, that doesn’t mean pubic hair has no purpose at all. We’ve evolved this way for a reason.
Reducing Friction During Sex And Other Activities
The skin on your genital region is delicate. Like earlier said, pubic hair acts like a protective buffer reducing friction during sex and other activities.
Some sources even refer to pubic hair as a “dry lubricant.” That’s because it’s easier to rub hair against hair than it is to rub skin against skin.
Pubic hair may also keep the genitals warm, which is an important factor in sexual arousal.
Protection From Bacteria And Other Pathogens Or Yeast Infections
Pubic hair serves a similar function to eyelashes or nose hair. That is, it traps dirt, debris, and potentially harmful microorganisms.
In addition, hair follicles produce sebum, an oil which actually prevents bacteria from reproducing. It follows that pubic hair may protect against certain infections, including:
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Yeast infections
Concerning some other benefits, we don’t fully understand all of the reasons why we have hair down there. Some additional theories explain that pubic hair;
Signals Reproductive Ability
Pubic hair appears at puberty. It’s an obvious physical sign of sexual maturity — and consequently, one’s ability to reproduce.
In the past, it may have served as a visual cue for prospective mates.
Another theory links pubic hair to the transmission of pheromones, or scent-carrying chemical secretions that affect mood and behaviour.
Pheromones are secreted from apocrine sweat glands. Compared to other areas of the body, the pubic region has a lot of these glands.
Therefore, as the theory goes, pubic hair may trap pheromones, increasing how attractive we appear to potential sex partners.
Is Pubic Hair Unhygienic?
This is one of the most common misconceptions about pubic hair.
In a nationally representative 2013 survey of 7,580 people, 59 percent of women and 61 percent of men who groomed their pubic hair reported doing so for hygienic purposes.
But pubic hair isn’t actually unhygienic. Like other hair on your body, your pubes trap sweat, oil, and bacteria.
So, they might have a slightly stronger odour than other areas of your body but as long as you wash regularly, this shouldn’t be cause for concern.
Why Do People Still Remove Their Pubic Hair?
There are a lot of reasons why people get rid of their pubic hair. Some of the most common ones are discussed below.
Social Etiquette Or Norms
Grooming pubic hair has been common practice for centuries. Today, at least some hair removal is common.
Some current theories link this trend to increased accessibility to pornography, where hairlessness is the norm.
A lot of people remove their pubic hair to conform to this aesthetic standard.
For instance, in the 2013 survey cited above, 31.5 percent of women who reported grooming their pubic hair did so because they believed it would make their genitals more attractive.
In the same survey, men were less likely than women to report grooming for this reason.
For others, partner preferences drive their grooming habits.
In the 2013 survey, around 21.1 percent of women reported that their pubic grooming was related to partner preference.
The same survey showed that a similar percentage of men also groom according to their partner’s desire.
In a 2015 study also, men were more likely than women to report a preference for a pubic hair-free sexual partner.
In contrast, women were more likely to cite that they preferred trimmed or partially shaved or waxed pubic hair.
Personal Choice Or Preference
For some, removing their pubic hair is simply a matter of personal choice or preference.
People who prefer to remove their pubic hair often cite comfort, routine, and sexual confidence as motivating factors.
Some people believe that removing their pubic hair increases genital sensation when having sex.
Indeed, studies suggest that there’s a link between pubic hair removal and self-reported sexual functioning.
However, one doesn’t necessarily cause the other. There are likely other factors involved.
For instance, people who remove their pubic hair are more likely to be young, so it would make sense that they also report increased sexual functioning.
More research needs to be done to understand the link between pubic hair removal and sexual sensation.
Is There A Way To Safely Remove Pubic Hair If One Wish To?
There are some things you can do to reduce your risk of an injury or infection during and after grooming your pubes. Try the following:
Wash yourself beforehand. Cleaning your skin before you get to trimming or shaving will help prevent the transmission of bacteria.
Disinfect your razor blade or scissors and change blades often. Make sure all of the tools you need for the job are disinfected. Change razor blades on a regular basis, and avoid using the scissors you use to trim for other things.
Use a handheld mirror. Make sure you can see what you’re doing, and go slowly.
Keep skin moist and lathered. If you’re shaving, your skin should be wet. Use soap suds or shaving gel to keep the area lubricated.
Proceed in the direction of your hair growth. For smoother results and less irritation, trim or shave your hair in the same direction it grows in.
Moisturize after. Moisturizing after your shave or wax can help soothe irritated skin. Use a natural oil or lotion to prevent skin from drying out.
Avoid tight clothes for a few days after. When your underwear is too close to your skin, it can worsen irritation. If you can, opt for loose underwear after a fresh shave.
Exfoliate regularly. Use a gentle loofah or scrub to remove dead skin.
Visiting a professional to have your pubic hair removed isn’t inherently safer than doing it yourself, provided you know what you’re doing.
However, waxing is probably best done by a professional since hot wax can cause burns.
In conclusion, there must be a reason you have pubic hair but what you do with it, whether you trim, shave, wax, or let it grow, is up to you.